Anticipation is building for the annual Kenly Christmas parade set for Thursday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. and the Micro Christmas parade on Saturday, Dec. 9 beginning at 4 p.m.
More than 100 entries are signed up for the Kenly parade and more are expected, according to parade Co-chairman Susan Phillips.
Phillips reported commitments from five marching bands including Charles B. Aycock High School, North Johnston High School, North Johnston Middle School, Princeton High School and Wilson Hunt High School.
Among other units will be a 50-member step team and three dance teams including Jennifer’s Dance Studio of Kenly, Passion in Motion of Wilson and 3 Dancing Sisters of Kenly.
Others entries include Muddy the Mudcat of Carolina Mudcats minor league baseball team, Sparky the Fire Dog of Kenly Fire Department, Lizard Lick Towing, various custom trucks, roadsters, EMT trucks and fire trucks along with various churches, elected officials and Santa Claus.
Several local businesses have entries along with additional dignitaries, pageant queens, fire-fighting and EMS units and North Johnston High School Air Force ROTC that will be marching and displaying the colors.
Three longtime Kenly Boy Scout leaders, Ronnie Boyette, Eric Boyette and Chris Coates were chosen as grand marshals of the parade this year in recognition of their careers in public service to the Kenly area.
Plans are for the parade to begin at the customary staging area at College Avenue, travel along Second Street (main street) to US 301, turn left onto 301 and continue for two blocks to Edgerton Street where it will turn left.
At that point people will be allowed to disperse wherever they want or need to go said Phillips.
Edgerton Street runs alongside Durham’s Garage and eventually behind Kenly fire station.
Phillips said all Eagle Scouts and current Boy Scouts need to be at the fire station at 6 p.m. on the night of the parade in order to line up and prepare for marching.
In a change from previous parades those riding or walking alongside floats will be allowed to hand out and toss candy to children on the parade route although the organizing committee has asked that those throwing and those going after the candy please exercise caution during the parade.
The Micro parade will begin at Micro Elementary School but it is recommended all parade entries first stop by Hinnant Outreach Center, 201 Main Street in Micro, after 2 p.m. on Dec. 10 to receive instructions.
The parade will end at Micro Fire Department and be followed immediately at that location by the annual Micro community Christmas tree lighting.
Refreshments will be provided and there will be singing by the community choir.
Everyone is invited.
Among other Christmas-related events in Micro will be a live Nativity at Micro First Baptist Church on US 301 in Micro on Saturday, Dec. 9, and Sunday, Dec. 10, from 6. to 8:30 p.m. each day.
Also, on Dec. 9, parade day, a “hot dogs and Santa” lunch will be held at Hinnant Outreach Center between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
The free event, sponsored by Hinnant Outreach, includes a photo opportunity with Santa, toy giveaway, free coat closet and is open to everyone.
There is no entry fee to take part in the Micro parade and there are several ways to enter–either visit townofmicro.com, or call town hall at 919-284-2572 or stop by town hall.
Micro parade grand marshals will be members who served on the planning committee for the first-ever Christmas parade held in the town in 1991.
Those being honored include Percell Holland Jr., who served as chairman of the group, along with Russell Creech, Ray Creech, Shirley Price, Vicki Holland, Shirley Strickland, Emma Woodard, Janet Langston, Albert Creech and Jerry Burton.